Month: August 2008

Haba Biofino Play Food – Putting My Own Cooking to Shame

I won’t be winning any cooking awards any time soon, but as far as the concoctions my daughter and son are creating in their play kitchen, courtesy of Haba’s new Biofino line of cloth play food, they’re on their way to winning Top Chef. Like everything I’ve ever seen from Haba, these imaginary edibles feature smart, durable, kid-friendly designs. Each collection from the adorable veggie crate (pictured) to the sweet muffin trio–all of which is available at online toy shop Petit Baby— is also created under strict safety standards, so if your child decides that the pizza does in...

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Mama For Obama? Cool T-Shirts On Tap.

Cool Mom Picks takes no official position on the presidential candidates besides keeping our eyes out for the coolest tees of the season on both sides of the aisles. Apologies to the GOP readers amongst us, but I believe the winner goes to (ding ding ding) the funky tees from There’s Something About Barry. Barry as in Barack. You know, tall guy? Cute kids? On CNN every four minutes or so? From the shop’s namesake slogan against a sleek Obama silhouette to modern interpretations of the good ol’ “Obama ’08” declaration, it’s nice to see some clean, contemporary political...

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The Ultimate Keepsake Baby Book – Before You’ve Even Filled In a Line

If you’ve been pining for the kind of baby book you might still pull off your mom or grandmother’s shelves when you go for a visit, why I think we’ve actually found it. Mother Stork’s Baby Book: 100th Anniversary Edition is a beautiful volume, harkening back to the days of lace bonnets for boys and and wet nurses for all. Mom and Kistner Supply owner Elizabeth Brantley has recreated the 1904 baby book that her great-grandmother owned with absolutely exquisite detail from the heavy custom paper stock to the linen-bound, gold foil-embossed covers. If this is right up your...

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One Good Egg

In my 20’s, I’d go to a small dark club in Rhode Island to watch obscure indie rock bands play loud, jangly music.  We were a fairly homogeneous group, save for one earplugged little girl of about 3 who would sit on her dad’s shoulders and watch her mom play the drums until well past midnight. They sure made the effort to combine their rock n roll life with parenthood, but I imagine that having kids must put a damper on the musical career of plenty of indie bands.  The three-members of LA-based Egg came up with a solution...

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What What? Monster Butt

I’m generally not so keen on clothes that emphasize a baby’s already cute-as-it-is butt with ruffles and words like, um…juicy. But a monster — like the one on Sckoon’s Ha Ha Tee and Monkey Pant Set? Cripes, I can’t think of anything more fittingly adorable for a baby’s stinky little bottom. You’d probably never guess that this brightly colored set is made from 100% fair trade organic cotton, thanks to enviro-friendly and baby-safe dyes that cover up that generic oatmeal color. Which makes it the perfect baby gift for any little boy or girl. The monster baby bottom business...

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Kind Bars – Kinda Awesome

I’m part of the low blood sugar brigade, which means I’ve always got a stash of energy or protein bars tumbling out of my bag. Unfortunately, most of those protein bars taste like butt. You know what I’m talking about. So it was with great reluctance that I closed my eyes and gingerly bit into an all-natural Kind Fruit & Nut Bar at the Fancy Foods Show last month. And it was good. Better than good. The macadamia apricot is absolutely terrific and the almond coconut was pretty yummy too. It’s pretty much just nuts, fruit and honey which...

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Cool Mom Picks loves Parents Magazine

If you’re one of the millions of moms who, like us, pass the time in the OB waiting room by flipping through Parents Magazine and then sneak it out in your bag (shhhhhh!), chances are you might have caught Cool Mom Picks co-founder and editor Liz Gumbinner featured as their September 2008 It Mom. Whoo! Along with a few amazing pics of Liz, the article features a few of Liz’s personal style tips and “can’t-live-withouts” as well as an adorable shot of her sweet daughters and their cool dad, Nate. Thanks to Parents for choosing one of our favorite cool moms as their “It Mom,”...

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Made in China? Absolutely.

When it comes to buying gifts for my friend’s kids, I really try hard to find unique items that no one else would think of, but aren’t so obscure that the poor kid has to ask his parents what the heck it is. Enter the Dumpling Dynasty Explorer Kit, one of a slew of super cool new Wu & Wu products from illustrator Fiona Hewitt and Asian kitsch expert, Andy Tainton. The funky retro-Chinese tin is filled to the brim with cool goodies like a magnifying glass, flashlight, knot-tying guide, metal compass, and notebook — all of which are...

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Yadda Yadda Yadda Blah Blah Blah

You wouldn’t think a bunch of blabbermouths like our family would need help starting a conversation, but I’ve got to thank The Chatterbox for providing some welcome encouragement in that area. Instead of questions about obscure Baby Boomer-era trivia, the cards are all about stuff parents really want to discuss with their kids but often don’t know how.  The categories admittedly sound a little dry – like Building Character and Goal Planning – but the questions are conversational and really do inspire kids to open up. Maybe too much. When we asked my six year-old “Do you know anyone...

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iglooplay: Go Jump On The Furniture

Have you ever entered a room in which the kids have been playing (usually too quietly) only to find that they have rearranged all the couch and chair cushions so that they can walk (tumble, jump) around the entire room without stepping on the (enchanted quicksand) floor? It isn’t pretty, although it does look like fun. For those who can afford to upgrade from couch cushions, check out the soft foam Tea Pods by iglooplay. Turn the larger one on its side and it’s a rocker. Turn it the other way and it’s a stool. Or maybe a rocket...

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A Parade of Organics

My favorite baby clothes were always the beefy cotton ones – just good, simple soft basics that felt cushy and cozy, that I knew wouldn’t start to look worn or faded after a few weeks of the puke-wash-puke-wash cycle. Parade Organic‘s Pure Collection would have fit right in with our layette. These organic cotton newborn  essentials including kimono onesies, rompers, and cute stripey newborn caps come in good basic but modern colors that you can get a ton of use out of. Also they won’t clash with those wacky polkadot socks your aunt got you for your shower. And...

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Can It, Kids

Despite my insistence that it would never happen, the toys have in fact eaten our living room whole. I evidently can’t keep the toy animals and crayons and blocks and play silks restricted to the kids’ room, so the least I an do is find some storage that works with the decor. The handmade screen-printed storage bags from Jenna Rose are a nice break from toy chests, fashioned of linen and cotton with a microfiber lining. At 12″ high, they’re perfect for those little things that, otherwise, would probably just remain under the couch. –Liz [via...

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Hint Water – Totally Indulgent and Yet Totally Calorie Free. Figure That One Out.

Have you tried Hint Water yet? You have to. You just totally have to. Take it from me, because I’m not a flavored water fan. Mostly I think water is pretty darn good, and it doesn’t need a whole lot of flavoring. But Hint Water–all natural, no sweeteners, lots and lots of flavors, and boy do I like it. The lime water actually tastes like lime in water (take a hint, Coca Cola!) and I could carry that cucumber water around all day long. It reminds me of something you’d be served at some high end SoCal restaurant or...

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Breathing New Life Into That Old Bjorn

Thanks to Cool Mom Picks, I’ve expanded my babywearing horizons to include wraps and slings, but I can never abandon my beloved Swedish front carrier standby, no matter how much drool coats its surface. However thanks to My Little Roo, I can dress up my old standby in some new duds.  These slipcovers give old carriers new life, not to mention a great new personality, with a number of cute fabrics all lined with chenille. Or commission your own–designer Kelsey Clark works on request. They’re designed to fit a variety of carriers, including Bjorn, Snuggli and Infantino, but check...

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Mrs. Moon Lullabies for Bedtime. And Crafters.

I have yet to figure out why for most lullaby books, the illustrations seem to be an afterthought. I suppose the justification is that if the words are effective enough, the kids eyes will be shut? Or something. Not so Clare Beaton’s Mrs. Moon: Lullabies for Bedtime. Here lyrics to bedtime tunes you know, and plenty you don’t, come to life with the fabric artist’s incredible creations. Even kids too young to focus on the words for long will enjoy gazing at the button-eyed felt owls, lacy angels and sequined mermaid. The accompanying CD is surprisingly decent, featuring Dana...

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Definitely spongeworthy

The siren song of convenience is strong, even for a greenie like me, and at times I’ve been compelled to some of those one-use cleaning wipes. I never feel right about it though, so I switched back to a bright purple sponge to use with organic all-purpose cleaner. Before I got too smug, I found out I could do even better with the Colorado-based Twistand their line of sponges and cleaning cloths which take “reduce, reuse and recycle” to heart. Updated: It appears this product is no longer in production. The substantial Naked Sponge is made of cellulose from...

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Hipster Babies: Your Clothes Are Ready

Wish as I may that I could dress my kids in retro hipster clothing, the combination of my southern locale and my preppy husband make it a look that I just don’t think we can pull off. But if you’ve got a kid that can sport a derby to the park, then he’s definitely got to have a gorgeous handmade blazer from Haute Bebe by House of Lux. These practically made to order jackets, like the Olive Roy (pictured), are few-of-a-kind, each made of remnants and discontinued fabrics. Every detail, from the crazy golden brocade lining and funky buttons...

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Jellio Furniture – Roald Dahl Would Be Proud

I am not of the mindset that children’s furniture should be serious – or any furniture for that matter. Give me some bright lime green plastic dining room seats over a set of stern Teutonic stiff-backed chairs any day. Oh wait, I already have them. No surprise then that I fell instantly madly in love with Jellio which designs heaping amounts of fun into every piece that they make. Inspired by candy, classic toys, and other icons of childhood, I’m going nuts for the candy button bench complete with rubber “candy dots,” the Lite Brite inspired table that glows...

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Over the Rabbit Moon

As I was perusing the selection of fall boys clothes at my regular haunts I noticed one overwhelming commonality: Unless you’re into super duper trendy duds or have a taste for the alternative, artsy stuff, the regular boy clothes are pretty darn cheesy. Just give me a nice sturdy shirt with a single airplane or whatever, and no goofy slogans! That’s what you’ll find in the fall collection from Rabbit Moon. If it feels familiar it’s probably because Rabbit Moon is a division of Le Top. Their boy’s line is a fantastic combination of stylish and simple, with basic...

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Green Kids Furniture at Sparrow. (And Pink. And Orange. And Brown.)

It is not generally cheap to go green. I mean sure, compact fluorescent bulbs can save you money in the long run and hybrid cars make sense with gas prices these days. But we all know that feeding the kids the organic mac n cheese and decorating the nursery with sustainable bamboo furniture is not exactly for bargain hunters. Now there’s an affordable and eco-friendly option for kids furniture in the playroom table set from Way Basics. It’s lightweight, sturdy, and made entirely from recycled paper. Also, very very cute. Particularly at $120 for the whole set. We found...

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